Customer Relationship Management is a way to manage a company’s interactions with its customers, consumers and clients. The objective of CRM is to bring together all possible customer information from a range of sources, giving an accurate, real time account of any given customer. CRM allows a company to make more informed decisions on their business, whilst also increasing levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty. CRM enables businesses to customize marketing messages to larger target audiences on the basis of the customer's expected response and the customer's value to the firm. By following the CRM model, firms can reduce overall marketing costs, increase customer response rates, and, probably most importantly, increase overall customer and firm profitability.
Once regarded as simply a type of software, CRM is now seen more as a business strategy, an approach which must run through the entire business to be effective. Effective CRM usually begins by drawing data together from a range of areas such as sales, marketing, customer relations and technical support. Most businesses that use CRM rely on a web based CRM system, such as Workbooks.com. Being web based has a number of advantages, not least the ability to provide a real time system which can be viewed and amended simultaneously from multiple geographical locations.
The use of web based CRM, avoids using separate applications for each business function, each with their own bank of electronic records, folders and files. Instead, these are brought together, providing a joined-up view of all business processes, from previously disparate areas like sales, marketing, technical support and customer relations, allowing an accurate, consistent view of your customers.
Web based CRM software like Workbooks.com, brings all information relating to a customer together, in a flexible manner allowing them to be customized to fit any business. CRM can have dramatic, positive impact on the following areas of business:
Customer data can be used to help effectively target specific marketing segments with campaigns, create different forms to capture different types of leads and assign the correct member of the sales team to follow up on the lead. Customer data usually begins with a record of all of the organizations or individuals the business deals with, arranged by category, role or interest. Customer activity such as emails, orders and invoices can all be linked to a specific customer record.
CRM can provide a range of tools to a sales team, including Activity management, Opportunity tracking, Pricing and Forecasting. Sales success can be fully analyzed, allowing accurate sales forecasts and individual sales performances to be tracked, and for key management information to be reported on and extracted.
A CRM system can create, record and effectively manage order fulfillment data such as transaction documents, sales orders, invoices, purchase orders and credit notes.
CRM can improve the quality of service delivered to customers, by managing all of their queries, complaints, feedback and testimonials in one place. In this respect, CRM can be extremely helpful in identifying issues with products or services. Often CRM includes a system to generate ‘cases’, issues reported by the customer which require investigation and actioning to prevent reoccurrence.
This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of CRM software.